Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Big Apple Day 2

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

How long has it been already? A lot has happened in the past few months. Let us continue with my NYC trip in May. 

I stayed at Grand Hyatt hotel on the first night before I go the conference in Cold Spring Harbor Lab. Lucky for me, they held a rooftop tour for the Chrysler Building view, which is located beside the hotel on the day I check-out. So I woke up early, packed my bags, went out to get some breakfast at a nearby Pret-A-Manger and waited at the lobby for the tour.

I don't think they held this tour every day. And they didn't start doing this until a couple of years ago.

This is the stairwell going up to the roof. The door is usually locked so you wouldn't be able to access it on your own. of the iconic structure in NYC. Many people confused this with the Empire State Building. Chrysler Building is easy to distinguish with the Hawks head and the top that were featured in many movies such as Spiderman, Ironman and the Ghostbusters. 

I took my time at the rooftop since I won't know when I will get another chance.

The steel and concrete forest. The high good they name it twice, New York, New York!!

Right next to the hotel is the all famous Grand Central Station.

This station is so big, even the basement takes more than 5 minutes to walk around it. 

There's a walk through that I made using the Ricoh Thetha 360 camera for you to enjoy.

Afterwards, I walk towards the nearest park, which is Bryant Park.

If you look at videos explaining this place, they will tell you not long ago, this place used to be the place for drug addicts and vagrants. The community turned it around into something so beautiful and perfect for the people to sit and relax. 

They have many activities centers around the park such as reading areas.. 

Table tennis/ping pong

A loooooot of seating areas,

The purpose of this game is to knock down your opponent's wood on the other side by throwing your stick.

Board games...

an old school carousel..

If you can see at the back is NYC public library, which used to be the house of one of the elites; The Astors. So the Bryant Park used to be their yard. When NYC was being developed, they had to move a lot of the mansions around the city that were just as big as this library. 

A few meters from the park is..

no...not cartoon network..


You'll also see a lot of these yellow school bus around the city.

There's this big red staircase located at one corner of the Times Square. 

A lot of people were seating here, but there are still room for you to go up and take a decent picture of The Square.

When I was there, there was a shooting of some sort at the area. It turns out, there was Dakota Johnson (the actress in 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, How to Be Single and many more). I followed and since there were hardly any people around following, I get to stood next to her...hahaha!! I became a paparazzi for the day. 

There were also these lounges around. Awesome way to chill and relax after a tiring walk.

A closer view of the tall screens. If you can see (maybe not) there's actually a big ball on top near the 2017 sign. At New Year's eve, the ball will be on top of the pole, and after the clock struck 12, the ball drops back down. You can see all this in youtube. It'll be a lot better than being there live. Waiting for hours freezing your tuckus off, then only get to watch the fireworks and the fiesta for 15-20 minutes. Maybe just once in a lifetime, would be more than enough.

Moving on...near the Time Square is the all famous Broadway..

Try and get a show here if you can. They say it used to be very cheap, around only $10-30. Nowadays, the cheapest is rarely less than $100. But if you are lucky, try to get a last minute ticket near the red stairs. They say the tickets will be sold there at a cheap price in order to fill in the empty seats. But don't hold your breath for famous shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and such for a cheap price since these shows are almost always full.

This picture is not to show the Mets, although they didn't suck as much as the Yankees this season. If you look closer...

It's Carlos Bake Shop!! If you watched The Cake Boss that are usually aired in TLC, you'll know what this is. Of course, this is not the original one, just another chain from Buddy's family store. I guess you should go to the one in Hoboken or Jersey City, since those were the ones being aired in the shows.

There weren't really a lot of people here than what I imagined it would be.

The staff was super helpful. However, there aren't a lot of desserts here that I can eat.

 The original cannoli has pork, some of the cakes has alcohol. So I just bought a cookie and cream cannoli and an iced latte.

There's an open window for you to observe the workers baking. The smell is uuuuuu...goood...

A few meters away, it's the New York Times building. A lot of news happen here. =P

At the 31st street is the Madison Square Garden.

Under the Madison Square Garden is the Penn Station. Another big train station in New York.

Next to it is the NYC Postal Office. It is huge!

If you walk along the Madison Square Garden towards the 33rd Street, you can clearly see the Empire State Building.

Are those London phone booth? hmm...

Beside the Madison Square Garden is the New York Rangers team center. You can also watch a hockey match in the Madison Square Garden. Actually, they held a lot of sports event other than the NHL, such as the NBA. There are also numerous concerts played here.

On the day I came here, there was actually a game being held that night. But I needed to go to my conference, which started at the same time.

So I only managed to join in the exhibition. It was fun!! A lot of activities being displayed here.

I get to try playing ice hockey for the first time. Don't get me wrong, I tried grass hockey when I was in primary school, so I do how to hold the stick. But still, the techniques and skills needed are completely different. 

See you next time New York Rangers.

I'll come to your game next time....if I can...

Opposite the Madison Square Garden, along the 33rd Street is the Pennsylvania Hotel. I booked this hotel during the times I was to come here for the first time, but US embassy screwed me up by delaying my visa. This would be a great place to stay since it is just opposite of Penn Station, and a walking distance to many attractions especially the Madison Square Garden and The Empire State Building. Next to it is Hooters...people who watched Big Daddy might know. haha...

If you walk straight through the 33rd street from Madison Square Garden, you'll find the tallest building in America.

That's right! It's the Empire State Building. There's a lot of souvenir shops around here. Surprisingly, the price is quite cheap as compared to other places.

After a looooott of photos at the Empire State Building, I walked back towards the hotel, passing through the Public Library again.

This time, I decided to go in and have a look.

New York Public library is the second largest in the US and the forth largest in the world!! It has many branches all over New York.

The Astor family: the founder of New York Public Library. 

Since the 1872, the New York public library was endorsed to be a reference and research library; its books are no allowed to circulate. 

The old arrangement of the library and the capsule used to transport manuscripts from one place to another using vacuum.

The library housed manuscripts, music sheets from many renowned artists and composers.

There's a lot of halls in this library. You can get lost in here.

They still maintain the old design.

The reading and quiet area. It's a nice place to read.

Finally back to the hotel. It's time to take my luggage and get my conference on. 

I took a train from the Penn Station to Syosset. Then the shuttle from the Cold Spring Harbor lab came and pick us up. The direction given to us via email was not that clear. They told us to cross over the bridge and wait at the opposite platform (westbound platform-without mentioning the platform's number). So as I arrive, I immediately went across. Luckily, the attendant helped to carry my heavy luggage. After almost an hour waiting, the van actually waited on the side that I arrived at. It turned out, the trains sometimes changes platform, especially during peak hour. My arms were hurting for a week after having to carry my luggage up and down the stairs hastily.

Anyway, after we arrived, we couldn't get back to our rooms immediately because the session was about to start. So we left our bags and our poster tubes at the reception.

Then I head to the cafe quickly to get my dinner. I've requested a halal or kosher meal before I arrived. However, the taste was not to my liking. It's a good thing they provided fish meals as well, so I could have a choice on other days.

After dinner, I ran to the auditorium quickly. This conference is not like any other conferences that I went to previously. There's only one auditorium, so obviously people will notice if you entered late. But they do provide an outside screening at the patio. It was nice as the weather was breezy.

The session ended almost at 10.30pm. Then we had to take a shuttle to go to our rooms. Little that I know, there's two different shuttles going to two different locations. Some people were placed at a hotel. I've only realized I was at the wrong place after the reception told me. I waited for another shuttle to come. I asked the driver whether he could take me back. At first he said no because he's not going back to the lab, and he told me to wait for the next shuttle. But then I asked whether I can make it for the last shuttle, which is at 12am. I guess the driver felt sorry for me and just asked me to come with him and he took me back. They kept telling the story of this girl who got on the wrong shuttle for days! It was an honest mistake because no one had told me that there were two different shuttles.

It took 10 minutes to arrive to my room from the lab. After I arrived, I just wanted to sleep. Set my alarm on the clock radio (so american) and dozed off after one second.

I'll tell you more of my conference in the next post. 

Until next time...

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